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Beaches, St. Tropez

St. Tropez
France
Concierge.com's insider take:

There are a few beaches on the Baie de St. Tropez, east of town, but most are along the beautiful Baie de Pampelonne, three miles southwest of town (technically in Ramatuelle). While a few are public, you can only access the worthiest stretches by paying admission to one of the beach clubs listed here. They're fancy affairs, with facilities including restaurants, lounge chairs, changing rooms, and showers, and occasionally dance floors and open-air hot tubs. Many have live DJs (forget about peace and quiet), and each has its own personality. Fees for private beaches average $20 to $40 for a dressing room and lounge chair. Expect lunch and drinks to be pricey, too.

La Voile Rouge
Plage de Pampelonne
Ramatuelle
Tel: 33 4 94 79 84 34
If you've never seen a group of five young women wearing nothing but spike heels and metallic bikini bottoms grinding together on tabletops, this infamously hedonistic beach club will change all that. Arrive pretanned and with at least two different "dry" outfits (one for lunch and another for lounging after a swim and a shower). Plenty of nudity and sexy high jinks earn this place an NC-17 rating. Open daily from 9 am.

La Bouillabaisse
St. Tropez
Tel: 33 4 94 97 54 00
Not far from the center of town, this quiet, sandy beach club is ideal for families with children, since it overlooks the calmer, shallower waters of the bay. The stylish restaurant is a fashionable place to dawdle over grilled fish and a chilled bottle of rosé. Open daily 10 am to 7 pm.

Le Club 55
Plage de Pampelonne
Ramatuelle
Tel: 33 4 94 55 55 55
www.leclub55.com
With a mix of French movie stars, Russian and Middle Eastern businessmen, and aristocratic young couples with children, Club 55 is often referred to as the Beverly Hills of beach clubs. Everyone seems to have a Vertu cell phone, a Louis Vuitton beach bag, and an impossibly expensive watch. (There's so much bling on display in St. Tropez that there's a special SOS number for jewelry lost while swimming.) Even if this sn't your scene, it's worth a once-in-a-lifetime visit for the human comedy alone. Open daily 9 am to 7 pm.

Tahiti
Plage de Pampelonne
Ramatuelle
Tel: 33 4 94 97 18 02
www.tahiti-beach.com
Long-running, exclusive, and expensive. The most common sound is the pop of Champagne corks. The guests are "mature" French showbiz types, but it's quieter since the opening of Nikki Beach. There's a hotel here as well, if you can't tear yourself away. Open daily 9 am to 7 pm.

Nikki Beach
Plage de Pampelonne
Ramatuelle
Tel: 33 4 94 79 82 04
www.nikkibeach.com/sttropez
Hangout of the same supertanned, blonde-streaked, designer-clad Euro crowd who spend winter roosting at the original Nikki Beach in Miami or the St. Barths branch. Disco music thumps away all day long, and the young rich get their kicks by spraying one another with bottles of icy bubbly. Expect men in leopard-print posing cups (think Speedos, but much, much smaller) and topless women in white cowboy hats. Open daily noon to 8 pm.

Plage des Graniers
St. Tropez
A public beach located just below the citadel that overlooks the harbor, Graniers is the best bet for those without wheels or who don't want to get stuck in the traffic jams that begin and end any day at Pampelonne. It is free, and there is a restaurant on-site.

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